Good intentions in life are people's meaningful attempt to do right. We try to please someone one but end up causing them more trouble instead. We took the wrong path and made mistakes. As humans, we have good intentions all of the time.
After the first of the year, we try our hand at dieting. We go out and buy a gym membership and invest in some new workout clothes. One of our first stops is at GNC to stock up on vitamins and protein powder. We have good intentions to exercise and lose weight. What happens a week later or a month later? The gym membership never gets used, and the protein powder starts to collect dust. Our new workout clothes don't fit us anymore.
We made an effort and did what we were told to do to get fit right? Did we follow the directions or just make a half-hearted effort?
Jesus gives us specific instructions on how to get to heaven. He makes the process simple, and he tells us what to do. Do we listen to him? Or are we clouded by the course on how to get to heaven?
I realize this is probably going to offend some people. My intentions are not to judge or insult.
2 Thessalonians 3:15 “Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.”
Now the meat and potatoes about good intentions.
I have set in a lot of different church pews over the years. Some of the congregations from denominational faith and others nondenominational. What I gathered in my pursuit with Christ was there are a lot of ways people are trying to reach God. I use the word “trying” because having good intentions and following directions are two entirely different things. I have examined multiple interpretations of the Bible, and from what I saw, there is only one way to heaven.
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
Jesus tells us that just knowing who he is, is not good enough to get into Heaven.
John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
When Jesus talks in John 14:6, this is probably one of the most important verses of the Bible. No one comes to the Father except through me. Jesus made if very clear that there is only one way to the Father. We cannot get to God through our good intentions or good deeds. We must remove barriers between God and us.
How man made rituals keep us from God.
I have searched in the Bible for a long time looking for proof that Jesus said a man could forgive sins. Somewhere that person can take people's sins to God and get them forgiven. I have not found anything mentioned by Jesus designating his authority to a middle man. Several denominations refer to this set of verses to justify their interference in people's direct relationship with Jesus.
Matthew 9: 4-8 “But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Why do you harbor evil in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk?’ But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” Then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.” And the man got up and went home. When the crowds saw this, they were filled with awe and glorified God, who had given such authority to men. “
Nowhere in this section of scripture does Jesus give the powers to forgive sins over to man. The chapter referring to given such authority to men speaks of how Jesus was authoritative to people. Authority to men describes that Jesus was authoritative.
If you read through Matthew Jesus demonstrates his power. He tells us that God appointed him to rule over the earth.
I have failed to see any transfer of authority of Jesus to man. Jesus tells us to be like him. But we are not to become him. We are called to emulate him but not take his place. Anything that comes between God and us is not Biblical growth. We cannot pray others sins away. Our prayers can only ask for divine healing. We cannot sprinkle holy water on someone to rid them of their sins. We can, however, go directly to Jesus and ask for forgiveness of our sins. It is important as believers that we do not just have good intentions. We must be intentional and direct with our communication with God.